Lifting Equipment and Lifting Gear
Lifting equipment, also known as lifting gear, is a general term for any equipment that can be used to lift heavy or awkwardly sized loads. Lifting equipment refers to the variety of tools that are capable of handling the many types of lifting that needs to be be done on a job site. Some of the better known categories of lifting equipment include forklifts, chain hoists, and cable handling equipment.
Lifting equipment is mainly used for lifting loads that cannot be lifted by way of manpower alone. There are many different situations in which lifting equipment is required. Over 40 years of trading our lifting equipment range has grown to include:
Technological progress has meant that innovative, often complex and powerful lifting equipment is now available for use. Lifting heavy items can be dangerous but lifting equipment can also be dangerous to use and it is the responsibility of both employer and employee. The employer should provide lifting equipment where necessary, ensure the correct lifting equipment is supplied and ensure the employee is trained to use the lifting equipment. The employee on the other hand should not use lifting equipment that they have not been trained to use and should only use lifting equipment supplied by the employer in the way that they have been trained to use it. See LOLER for further information on the individuals as well as the companies responsibilities.
Though the exact workings of the lifting equipment will vary depending on what job it is designed for, lifting equipment in general works by means of a fulcrum, which makes it easier for the tool to take on heavy loads. The means of lifting can vary widely depending on the specific tool. There may be a sort of manual interface, as in the case of the ratchet jack, which must be manually jacked up. On the other hand, there may also be an automatic electric or hydraulic means of lifting the load in question, as in the case of the forklift. Some lifting equipment works by way of cables whereas other lifting equipment works by way of clamps. Other types of lifting equipment work by simply getting underneath the load and lifting it up, a procedure that is usually performed by lifting tools such as forklifts. The type of lifting equipment required depends on the type of job being undertaken, so it is of the utmost importance that the person ordering the equipment for the job knows exactly what he is looking for.
Action Handling have been supplying Lifting Equipment to companies based in the UK for over 40 years. We have much experience in the field of Lifting Gear and Height Safety Equipment and understand the importance of fast, reliable and well maintained solutions for our customers' needs. Our strap line “with you every step of your working day” came about over the years through helping our customers to find the appropriate lifting equipment to meet their needs by responding quickly and efficiently to their various questions. We have supported hundreds of projects over the years and have probably already solved the lifting challenge you are facing. If we don’t have the product in our extensive catalogue then we will recommend a bespoke solution that you might not have even considered before now. Whatever it is that needs lifting - we have a product to do it - safely.
We take pride in being a quality lifting equipment supplier and all our lifting gear is secure and reliable. Quality is assured over our full range of products, which includes lifting equipment, materials handling equipment, personal protective equipment, access equipment and weighing equipment.
Before commencing any project consideration should be given to the risks involved and lifting does pose a big risk. One should not be complacent when lifting heavy loads as many accidents occur when lifting loads under 100kg. All lifting requires the same amount of consideration for staff, the objects being moved, and the surrounding areas.
The quality of the lifting equipment plays a huge role in safe lifting you don’t want the equipment to break and drop the load half way through the lift. Pick the correct lifting equipment to use. Make sure to read all the technical information supplied in the product listings, adhere to the capacity guideline and follow all the instructions strictly. Just because equipment is expensive it does not follow that it is safer - it is more important that you choose the correct lifting equipment.
Some lifting equipment can be difficult to assemble so a skilled operator is important. A fully trained, competent and experienced workforce will be key to safe lifting operations. If you as a member of staff are not sure on how to operate something, don’t take the chance - consult a member of your team who does. We often work under the pressure of time but no shortcuts should be made when lifting heavy items!
Employers must ensure that equipment is thoroughly examined before it is put into service for the first time and after any significant change that affects its operation. If the lifting equipment is bought second hand, it must be accompanied by physical evidence that it has been examined. Where safety depends on the installation conditions, it must be thoroughly examined on each occasion after installation or assembly and before use.
Equipment must be thoroughly inspected at least every six months if intended for carrying people, at least every 12 months if used for other purposes, or according to a scheme devised by the examiner. Examinations should also take place after any exceptional event such as accident or dangerous occurrence. Examinations must be carried out by competent persons who are sufficiently independent and impartial for objective decisions to be made. Examinations may involve the performance of tests as determined by the competent person.
The safeness of the lifting operation will be governed by attributes such as the height, width, distance, and and of course the weight. Always be cautious with the surrounding area and never move your eyes away from the load once the move is in progress. For more complicated lifting operations several workers should supervise the lift.
Always plan ahead. Never think the task will be simple. No task is easy when it comes to lifting. A safe lifting depends on a combined work of the rigging equipment, operators and the supplier, not the load weight. Rushing the lift will mean that the item being lifted may swing about and crash into the surroundings or may come loose from the hoist. Remember too that something heavy picks up extra force as it falls through the air and something very small can still kill a person or do great damage to property. There is always a risk of an accident occurring when using manual chain blocks and lever hoists. This is because in general, they are dangerous if instructions on how to use them properly are not followed.
LOLER is a standard regulation that applies to all industry sectors; from healthcare to construction, most industries and commercial activity will use some kind of lifting equipment. Further information about LOLER can be found here.
LOLER refers to the load. The load includes any material, people or animals (or any combination of these) that is lifted by the lifting equipment. Loads are often provided with permanent or semi-permanent fixed or attached points for lifting. In most cases, these are considered to be part of the load.
Examples of loads include items such as:
- loose bulk materials,
- pallets and stillages,
- cumbersome items (such as a large concrete blocks),
- machinery and any permanently attached lifting eyes as well as skips
LOLER is wide in its scope and whilst some equipment might appear to be 'lifting' and therefore thought to be covered by LOLER it is not always the case. Consider:
- pallet trucks, where the consequence of the load falling off is very low
- roller shutter doors
- fall arrest ropes
- tipper trucks
Where this equipment is used at work, it will need to be maintained for safety and may instead of being regulated by LOLER, be subject to inspection under PUWER.
Construction workers are the main operators of industrial lifting equipment intended for lifting massive loads. It is crucial to be trained in the proper usage of such equipment because it can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Wearing the proper personal protective equipment is also required when handling any form of lifting equipment. The proper protective equipment usually consists of at least a protective helmet and steel toed boots.
Action Handling can carry out on site testing and statutory LOLER examinations for many types of equipment. We have experience working with all types of industries. Risks of injury can be a result of not maintaining and checking the chains and levers of lifting equipment on a regular basis.
If you require more information in regards to lifting equipment, please don’t hesitate to contact our team our advice is completely free. We are always on hand to offer you our professional, unbiased advice so you can be sure you're getting the best tools for the job. We make sure to price competitively so our customers receive the best deals on the highest quality products every single time whether its advanced lifting equipment or something smaller.
Further safety considerations for chain hoists and lever blocks
- Only operate the chain and/or lever blocks if you are fully trained and authorised to do so
- The lever block could be fitted with numerous safety devices; load brakes, hook latch, limit switch, emergency stop and shock protection.
- Before using a lever block, be sure you understand how each safety element on the device works.
- Do not try to lift or manoeuvre personnel.
- Never modify,change or alter hoisting equipment – if the lever block or chain is incorrectly positioned, ask your supplier how to remedy the problem
- Always make sure that any lifting is personally attended; never just leave it.
- Over capacity load lifting is hazardous and should not be undertaken.
- Ensure there are no faults with the lever or chain block prior to use.
- Do not use the chain or lever block if for example, the chain is kinked, twisted or damaged.
- Never pull the bottom hook into the block housing.
- Make sure the lever block or chain is not exposed to damp, rain or excessive humidity. This can cause damage to the equipment, putting everyone’s safety in jeopardy.
- Never use a motor for manual chain and lever blocks.
- Safety measures – check these aspects on a daily basis; chain (for wear, twists and kinks and that it feeds through block smoothly), hook (for throat for width increase, safety latch, bolts and nuts.
Don’t forget to carry out checks on components, gears, shafts, bearings and brakes, every six months. We can repair, test and certify your lifting equipment to comply with requirements set by the UK Statutory Regulations. This service is offered for all types of equipment and can very often be carried out on your premises. We are able to carry out inspections on your equipment and maintain statutory records as required.